Of course, some photographers do not find such limitations onerous or insurmountable
and, by nature, readily adjust what they do photographically to what the public
and the establishment has determined will "sell." But I also think
there are many more photographers, like myself, who are too independent and
find that catering to popularity does not serve their motives for making photographs
in the first place, or who are not comfortable with traditional venues. For
some time now I have been giving prints away to friends and acquaintances whom
I have reason to believe would welcome and enjoy the images and that has proven
much more satisfying.
"As a full-time digital artist, I tend to look around me
all the time trying to see things differently. I also like photography
a lot and that's how it all started. So I began `daily
dose of imagery' to showcase and share my day-to-day visual
practice with a (then small) group of people. One of many great
things about a photoblog is the ability for the viewers to comment
and share their thoughts about every single photo in real time.
Having a photoblog also made me go around and explore my surroundings
a lot more than I usually used to, in order to find a new image
for the day. Sometimes I'm too busy to shoot a good photo
in a day so I start digging in my archive of my thousands of photos
and post an old photo that I haven't shared before. Updating
the site can be at times frustrating due to my full-time job and
lack of time, but mostly it's rewarding and I find it to
be a great project to keep my eye and my skills fresh. Overall,
`daily dose of imagery' ended up to be much more than
I originally planned it to be and that's a great feeling
to have this many visitors daily and it also adds a sense of responsibility
for me toward all these people."--Sam Javanrouh
Although the web imposes physical restrictions as to size and resolution,
photobloggers are free to show whatever kind of image expresses their interest
(of course, with some sponsored sites sexually explicit material is often censored--but
that's OK because there are plenty of other places on the Internet one
can go if desired).
In short, the photoblog virtual community is about as ideally democratic and
egalitarian as one can imagine. And, the investment required to show and share
images is minimal and mostly involves how much time you are willing to invest.
The satisfaction or advantage that may come from doing a photoblog is as individually
diverse as the reasons people have for being interested in making photographs.
Obviously the rewards must outweigh the investment as many people pursue the
activity with enthusiasm and, in many cases, what can only be described as enduring
tenacity. Personally, I cannot imagine a venue for showing and sharing photographic
images better suited to the photo enthusiast.
Corresponding with an enthusiast recently I thought out loud that if Marshall
McLuhan--the media guru who coined the phrase "the global village"
to describe a world made small by electronic media, and named patron saint of
Wired magazine--were alive today he would surely smile largely and knowingly
in response to photoblogging.
"I've been taking photographs for as long as I can
remember, but life has gotten in the way of taking it seriously,
so I gave myself the photo-a-day blog challenge as a way to keep
me thinking photographically, to force me to keep shooting. So
far, maintaining thenarrative.net has helped me grow as a photographer.
Because it's a persistent chronological record of my work,
I am constantly reminded of the choices I've made and the
ways I've changed. And because I find myself with a sizeable
audience following my pictures daily (and often giving feedback),
I feel encouraged, inspired, and challenged to keep going just
a little farther. I now have a responsibility to take the most
interesting pictures I can. I hope I can keep doing this for a
long time so eventually it tells a narrative of my life, of what
and how I see, and particularly the people I photograph."--Matt
Holly P. says about her "Watch Me Turn 30" photoblog,
"For my 29th birthday I received a digital camera. Perfect,
I thought. What a great way to force creativity upon myself and
scrutinize my almost-30 life. The angst! The biological ticking!
The fun! Thus my blog was born." Wow! What a challenge to
give oneself, particularly when it involves an almost daily self-portrait.
How do you do something like that without seeming self-serving,
egocentric--even maudlin--or at best banal? After leafing
through over 100 days, all I can say is Holly's photoblog
is definitely none of the above, and although I left 30 behind
some time ago, and males are not supposed to be concerned by birthday
symbols until much later in life, what Holly reveals is touching
and poignantly honest by just being real with herself, life, you,
and me.--Holly P.
"What I try to do with my photoblog, Sushicam, is convey
a sense of being there to my viewers, to share my passion for
Japan with the rest of the world. The best compliment I have received
about one of my images was when someone said, `It made me
homesick for a place I have never been.' This is the reaction
I strive for, knowing I have hit the mark by really connecting
with someone."--Jeff Laitila